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Mole Checks – Early Detection of Skin Cancer.

Healthcare Inspectorate WalesSkin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK . There are over 100,000 new cases of skin cancer every year. Mole checking is undertaken by Professor Alex Anstey our experienced qualified consultant dermatologist to identify if any mole or skin lesions are abnormal and require treatment. At your mole check we will assess any risk factors by undertaking a thorough review. The examination involves reviewing any moles you may be concerned about, as well a full body check to make sure there are no areas that are commonly missed.

 

Because skin cancer (melanoma) often starts on the surface of the skin, it can be detected at an early stage with a skin examination by a doctor or dermatologist. A regular self-examination of the skin is a good idea for everyone.

Self Examination:

Make sure you know where your moles are and how they look. Look for a change in outline, shape, size, colour (especially a new black area), or feel of an existing mole.   Also ensure that you check moles very carefully during times of hormone changes, such as adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause. As hormone levels change, moles may also change.

Melanoma may run in families, and members of these families are at high risk for the disease. Doctors may recommend that these family members have checkups every 6 months. A dermatologist may want to watch a slightly abnormal mole closely to see whether it changes over time.

Pictures taken at one visit may be compared with the appearance of the mole at the next visit. Sometimes a doctor decides that a mole should be removed so that the tissue can be examined under a microscope.

The removal of a mole, called a biopsy, is usually done in the dermatology clinic using a local anesthetic. It generally takes only a few minutes. The patient may require stitches, and a small scar will remain after healing. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope to see whether the melanocytes are normal or cancerous. Because most moles do not develop into melanoma, removing all of them is not necessary.

A dermatologist can recommend if a mole should be removed. Contact us today if you are concerned about your moles – For Mole Consultations click here